Doug Toppin's Blog

My thoughts on technology and other stuff

Travel Technology on the Train

We took the Amtrak regional train from DC to NYC and back today and brought along our iPads and I wanted to pass along some observations on how that went. Both iPads had sufficient books, podcasts and other stuff to keep us both occupied for the trip. wifi was available (free) which worked well with a couple of caveats to be aware of. The first was that there are content blocks on high bandwidth sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Pandora (and other radio apps) as well as iTunes. I could browse iTunes but was not able to download cloud songs for example. Be advised that you should have your iPad preloaded before your trip because of this. The second item to note is that once you join the AmtrakConnect wifi you have to accept the terms in a browser page. If your device sleeps you may have to accept terms again. If you have a 3G data plan your device might revert to cellular on awakening and you not notice so keep an eye out. One other tidbit is that a backpack is way too large for just a couple of iPads and snacks. This is particularly true now that I use my iPhone camera for pictures and no longer drag along a space burning camera and lenses. It looks like a more space efficient pack is in our future.